As more companies embrace remote work, people may increasingly request nontraditional work schedules. But what is a flexible work schedule, and how can you adjust your workweek without compromising productivity?
Flexible Work Schedule Examples
Traditionally, knowledge workers are at their desks Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A flexible work schedule is an alternative to this conventional setup. Employees may start their day earlier or later or may work some hours on evenings or weekends.
Flexible work schedules may include a combination of remote work done from home, as well as partial or full days spent at a central office. Of course, employees are still required to complete all their daily and weekly tasks.
Different Models of Flexible Schedules
1. The four-day workweek
One option for flexible work is the four-day, or compressed, workweek. Employees work four 10-hour days, giving them one day of personal time per week that they can use for medical appointments, childcare, or chores.
Other compressed workweek schedules use a nine-day, two-week model: employees complete 80 hours of work in nine days. Twice a month, they’ll have a personal day – for example, they could take every other Friday off. Both models afford employees a better work-life balance – and can cut commuting costs, which may be covered by either the employee or employer.
For an enterprise that conducts operations seven days a week, the four-day workweek can help balance out staffing needs. For example, some employees might work Wednesday through Saturday, while others might choose to take a personal day mid-week.
2. The daily flexible schedule
In this model, sometimes referred to as flexible hours or flexible workdays, employees are still working from Monday through Friday. However, their start and end times may vary from a traditional setup. They may arrive at work early, leave late, or take an extended lunch break.
Employers that offer this type of flexible schedule may set core hours, such as 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., during which they expect workers to be at their desks. Otherwise, employees can set their schedules as they choose.
In other setups, a person may have the same schedule each day, but instead of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., they work from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This can be helpful for parents who need to accommodate school drop-off or pickup times. It also works well for people who find they are most productive early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
3. Flexplace setups
With a flexplace schedule, a person can work from the office, at home, or from another remote location. Flexplace setups can include:
- Remote work: Also referred to as telework or telecommuting, this setup allows an employee to work from their home. They may connect to the office network through a virtual private network (VPN), a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), or a cloud server.
- Hybrid work: In this model, employees split their time between working from home and working in the office. This can be on a preset schedule: for example, an employee may work from home on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and work from the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or, it may be up to the employee’s discretion. When in the office, employees may have a set workspace, or they may have the flexibility to reserve any desk or office through a hoteling model.
The success of these nontraditional models depends on consistent, effective communication among team members. They also require that managers trust their employees and give them some degree of autonomy over where and when they work.
Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules
These flexible work arrangements can boost employee satisfaction, offer benefits to employers too.
The advantages of flexible scheduling include:
- A bigger talent pool: When people can work from anywhere, they aren’t required to live in the city where their employer is located. This gives hiring managers a much wider pool to recruit from when seeking applicants for open positions – and because flexible scheduling is an attractive benefit, it helps with retention, too.
- Less turnover: Giving people the freedom to customize their schedules allows them to work when they are most productive and well-rested, helping to prevent burnout.
- Cost savings: When people can work from home and set their schedules, you’ll save money not only on commuting costs but on your office overhead as well. Hybrid work models let you scale down your physical footprint. Rather than giving each person a dedicated desk or office, you can simply use a hot-desking or hoteling model – so you aren’t paying for unused space.
- Better collaboration: When people have the option to work from the office as needed, it makes it easier for them to collaborate on projects. A hoteling model allows teams to reserve adjacent desks or conference rooms, so they can work side by side and talk through ideas in person.
Whatever type of flexible work schedule your enterprise chooses, you’re likely to see a boost in employee satisfaction. According to Gallup, 90% of remote-capable employees prefer the flexibility to work remotely.
Simplify alternative work arrangements with Robin. We provide a user-friendly platform that makes it easy for you to communicate with your team and keep track of your people. Our tools allow you to map your space, set up a flexible work schedule, book meetings, and reserve desks and offices.
To learn more, schedule a demo today.